July 23, 2018

Don’t be put off by a ‘no’.

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There are many people who are simply afraid to ask for something – be it a discount, a better price or compensation. But there is also a group of people who, having been brave enough to ask for something, are put off at the first hurdle, by someone saying ‘no’.

Sometimes no means no, but sometimes it means you need to ask again, or ask differently or even ask someone else instead.

What do I mean by that?

1) When ‘no means no’: There are times when your request is simply not possible. Don’t simply agree to their terms though, consider your alternatives. Is there another supplier, dealer or buyer? Is this deal, as it stands, good enough – is it within your Negotiation Range? If the answer is yes, maybe you can do a deal, if its not within your range, maybe its your turn to say ‘no’.

2) Why you should ‘ask again’: I have been told ‘no’ when asking for compensation or a discount many times, but the first ‘no’, is all I see it as. It is a test. Being confident to ask again, backed up by facts in your favour, can help move past this first ‘no’.

3) Why you should ‘ask differently’: reframing a request can help the other party be more agreeable. Perhaps your first request seemed unreasonable to them, but by asking for it in a different way, it can help to persuade them – especially if it gives them something in return. For example, instead of asking for cash as compensation for poor service, ask for company vouchers instead – its cheaper for them to give, and it means you will be back as a customer.

4) Why you should ‘ask someone else’: I don’t mean go elsewhere, but if you are getting nowhere with your request, perhaps you are asking someone without the authority to give you what you want. Often customer services people have little authority, but their managers can be more accommodating. For example, just yesterday I was asking for a refund for poor delivery and found that the customer services department could only go as high as £40 (not enough), but the manager was able to authorize a lot more.

Be brave, ask for something. And if they say no, think about the above and don’t just give up.

Florence Kennedy Rolland, Lead Tutor About Florence Kennedy Rolland, Lead Tutor

Managing Director of Negotiate Ltd & Approved Tutor and examiner for the Negotiation elective.